Established in 1970, Avalon Books and Treasures has a rich history. The occult boutique is full of items from local and BC artisans and is the place to go for crystals, beautiful jewelry, and tarot readings. With the pandemic still a part of our lives, small businesses, such as Avalon Books and Treasures, need our help to stay open and survive the financial difficulties of our present circumstances.

Avalon Books and Treasures

 

Avalon Books and Treasures is a shop full of character and charm. It has a beautiful collection of BC-made jewelry, art, and candles. They carry fine brands of vintage clothing, shoes, and accessories as well. The shop also provides the community with spiritual products, crystals, and psychic readings.

Since she started working at the store in 2014, Debra Thomlinson has become an operating partner with Avalon and loves it. With her help, we would like to give you a window into the wonderful world of Avalon Books and Treasures.

 

Debra with her tarot cards. Photos by Ariel Glidden

 

What is your background?

“I began as a tarot reader in a little shop in Chemainus BC in 2006, in which I quickly developed a knack for being in sales too. Gradually I developed my talents and opened my first shop in 2007. Over the span of the next 7 years, I managed many metaphysical shops throughout the island. Till one day in 2012, I arrived in Victoria. As of 2014, I have been a part of Avalon starting as a part-time reader, then working alongside the owner of the shop in all areas of the business. Due to the pandemic, we briefly closed to refurbish, rebrand the shop. June 6th 2020, we re-launched against all odds with the greatest of success in the history of the shop, which is now 50 years old and strong.”

 

Photos by Ariel Glidden

 

For someone who hasn’t been to Avalon Books before, what is your business? What makes it special?

“Originally it was known for eclectic books on metaphysical subjects but now it includes health topics, herbal, fiction, non-fiction, divination, and antiquities. We are best known for supporting BC-made-only product lines. With the addition of a fully certified herbal apothecary and consultant. As well as a stunning collection of crystals, beauty products, local chocolates, teas, gifts galore exclusive to Avalon.”

 

Photos by Ariel Glidden

 

What inspires you?

“Every time I turn the key in the door, another surprise awaits. No day is ever the same. Our collections grow daily in support of local artisans.”

 

Why downtown?

“Downtown is our choice for business because of its historic ambiance, wonderful restaurants, and the warm support of fellow shop owners.”

 

Photos by Ariel Glidden

 

So many small businesses have struggled because of COVID 19. What effects are you experiencing?

“Keeping up with the changes has proven a challenge, yet we have implemented a “touch only what you wish to purchase” policy and a limit of 4 on the shop floor.
Changing the way we do business includes offering curbside pick up, phone orders, delivery, and developing a better way to shop with us online (coming soon).
We greatly miss the tourism yet we greatly appreciate our local supporters that have doubled in numbers since our re-launch.”

 

What advice do you have for other business owners experiencing hardship?

“My advice is to re-invent, educate on what the other success stories worked on for success and implement those same changes, drop the fear and forge forward full steam. Include your neighboring shops in a shout out when they shop at your spot. Word of mouth works wonders. We need to support each other to win in the long run. Keep moving forward!”

 

Photos by Ariel Glidden

 

How to find Avalon Books and Treasures:

Avalon Books can be found in Market Square at #62-560 Johnson Street. You can reach them over the phone at (250) 380-1721 or on their website including their online store! Check out their Facebook page and Instagram too!

 

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